State boost for small companies

first_img12 November 2007South Africa is to direct as much as 85% of government spending on selected goods and services to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) – and ensure that they are paid out within 30 days, says government spokesperson Themba Maseko.Although the government already procures many products and services from SMMEs worth millions of rands, this is the first time that a specific target has been set.Briefing reporters following a Cabinet meeting last week, Maseko said the spending would be directed at 10 products and services, while the 30-day payment rule for paying small enterprises would be implemented with immediate effect.The 10 selected products and services include advertising, media and communication products and services; interior and exterior cleaning services and cleaning product supplies; clothing and textiles; computer equipment and consumable supplies; interior and exterior furniture and decor; events coordination and management; maintenance, repairs, construction and office space; travel coordination and shuttle services; perishable food supplies and stationery supplies and printing.Government-funded small enterprise support agencies would also provide dedicated financial and non-financial procurement-based support for the selected products and services, which were identified following research by the Department of Trade and Industry.To make sure the 30-day payment rule is applied, Maseko said its implementation would be included in the performance contracts of accounting officers in government departments.In addition, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is to set up a call centre to handle complaints from small business owners about late payment for goods supplied and services rendered.The National Treasury is also to issue guidelines to all national and provincial departments to ensure the implementation, monitoring and reporting on the expenditure targets.Maseko said such moves were necessary to ensure timely payment to SMMEs, as they do not have the large cash reserves to survive long periods without payment.“The only way we will grow small enterprises is by giving them work,” he said, pointing out that SMMEs stood to benefit from hundreds of millions of rands of government expenditure.He said that while the expenditure would be targeted at black-owned enterprises in line with broad-based black economic empowerment guidelines, this would not prevent the government from considering other options, as the initiative was aimed at all small businesses in the country.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Two-billion reasons Mercedes-Benz chose South Africa

first_imgThe R2-billion investment will createas many as 2 000 jobs in East London.(Image:  Mercedes-Benz) The MBSA East London plant is expectedto install the latest technology to producethe C-Class in 2014.(Image: Shamin Chibba)MEDIA CONTACTS • Annelise van der LaanMercedes-Benz SA+27 012 677 1903 or +27 82 820 7546RELATED ARTICLES• Mercedes-Benz SA tops for quality• A joule of an energy-efficient car• World’s first hybrid sports car in SA• Solar water heating plant opensMotor industry to gather speedShamin ChibbaThis Christmas, it is not the Star of Bethlehem that will shine brightest but the three-armed star of the Mercedes-Benz logo that would guide South Africans to prosperity.Parent company Daimler AG confirmed on 7 December that it will invest R2-billion (US$290.4-million) into the Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) plant in East London for production of the next-generation C-Class series.The plant will be one of four manufacturing locations in the world producing the popular model. The other three production facilities are based in Germany, China and the US.According to MBSA spokesperson Annelise van der Laan, the investment will create more jobs. “We expect about 1 500 to 2 000 new job opportunities, mainly at the supplier level,” she said.“The investment is for preparation and installation of new equipment, the latest manufacturing technology, training and skills development. Further investment at supplier level is expected,” said Van der Laan.MBSA are said to be exporting the cars to markets in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.Excellent production qualityDaimler AG board of management member Wolfgang Bernhard said MBSA East London was chosen for its superior production quality and its recognition as one of the best plants in the industry.“MBSA has managed to provide us with a business and production plan that is competitive globally. Hence, our decision to build the next-generation of our C-Class at the East London plant is a logical step.”Hansgeorg Niefer, MBSA’s CEO, expressed his delight that the facility was selected to continue building this particular range, which it has done since the mid-1990s.“Just recently we exported the 100 000th C-Class built in East London. In the first quarter of next year we should reach the half-million mark of C-Class vehicles produced locally since 1994, the model’s start of production in South Africa.”New model, new technologyNiefer said more than a dozen new technologies would be brought to South Africa for the car and production processes.“MBSA will localise more than 40% of the components for this new vehicle. We expect to see more investors and new suppliers, all with the latest technologies, coming to the country.”Niefer added that, depending on market demand, the plant has the capacity to add a third shift which would allow it to run 24 hours per working day.He emphasised that the investment into the East London plant is one of many made in the last 10 years – a total of over R5-billion ($726-million).Van der Laan was mum on the details regarding the range’s design and features. “As the model is only due for release in 2014, details on design, styling, special features, new technology and pricing will not be made available due to the competitive nature of the auto industry,” she said.The R2-billion investment would create as much as 2 000 jobs in East London.last_img read more

Infrastructure development key to unlocking Africa’s potential

first_img18 November 3014 President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane. (Image: GCIS)With an infrastructure funding gap of US$93-billion per annum, the establishment of a Global Infrastructure Hub by the G20 countries may come as a boon for African countries.The Global Infrastructure Hub, or GIH, is an initiative launched during the recent G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia, that will complement “on-going efforts to reduce barriers to infrastructure development in most G20 countries’, according to South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.Speaking to journalists in Pretoria on Tuesday, 18 November, Nene said the GIH will be open to all member countries as well as to non-G20 members. “It is intended to also attract private sector financing, to complement efforts by the public sector. Further details on the operations of the hub will be finalised soon, and it will be ready to operate in the early parts of 2015,’ he said.“We are therefore happy that issues of accelerated infrastructure investment through designing appropriate funding instruments, carefully structured public private sector partnerships (PPPs), and project development facilities received a lot of attention at the Summit,’ Nene added.The GIH initiative on infrastructure will complement a number of other initiatives in which South Africa is involved, Nene said. These include the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), a platform for brokering more financing for infrastructure projects and programmes in Africa, which was launched at the G8 summit in Gleneagles in 2005.The ICA aims to accelerate efforts to meet the urgent need for infrastructure development in Africa, according to Nene, and acts a conduit for economic growth and development on the continent. He said ICA addresses both national and regional constraints to infrastructure development, with a particular focus on regional infrastructure.Membership of the ICA comprises the G8 countries, the World Bank Group (WB), the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), South Africa and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).“ICA is another important avenue through which South Africa seeks practical strategies to implement the commitments made in institutions like the G20 and BRICS, in pursuit of Africa’s infrastructure development objectives,’ said Nene.Adding, Nene said lack of a “pipeline of well-prepared, bankable projects’ is one of the key constraints to infrastructure development in Africa. “Although more than 52 Project Preparation Facilities operate in Africa, these facilities are not effectively unlocking infrastructure development across the continent. Project preparation and the financing thereof remain key stumbling blocks to Africa’s infrastructure development,’ he said.In addition to these initiatives, South Africa has set up a task team on look into private sector financing of infrastructure, made up of government, business and labour representatives. Nene said the task team has been able to narrow its focus to areas that will have the greatest impact, namely encouraging private sector financing and participation in infrastructure; and the steering of development finance institutions to focus more on “crowding in’ private sector investment.Because of the prominence of infrastructure development to South Africa (infrastructure development is a key priority in the National Development Plan), the country will host the 10th annual meeting of the ICA in Cape Town from 25 to 27 November 2014. The meeting will be held under the theme “Effective Project Preparation for Africa’s Infrastructure Development’, according to Nene.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

July Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your Comments

first_imgEach of July’s Featured Geocacher of the Month nominees has made their mark on the geocaching community. Though many other qualified candidates were nominated, Groundspeak Lackeys selected these three influential and inspiring nominees.Sniperchicken – June 2012 Geocacher of the MonthNow it’s your turn to help select one of them as July’s Featured Geocacher of the Month.Write a comment on this blog post about which of these three geocachers you feel should be crowned.Last month, SniperChicken was chosen as the June Featured Geocacher of the Month. SniperChicken was recognized for his kindness and creative ability to engage the geocaching community through his caches. As the Board President of the Mississippi Geocachers Association, he is known to go above and beyond to research every hiding location to provide fellow geocachers with a unique geocache and story.Here are your nominees for the July Featured Geocacher of the Month. Some testimonials have been edited for length.daggydaggyNominated by Deermark, Lynn, a.k.a, daggy “has been the Chairman of the Indiana Fall Geocaching Picnic for 8 years. This event draws between 200 and 300 geocachers every fall. She helped found INKY (The Indiana-Kentucky Geocaching Group). This group meets once a month for a social and has drawn between 30 and 80 new geocachers every month since inception. Daggy has volunteered with Lincoln State Park in Indiana to help with the park’s annual geocaching event for the last 5 years. She was also instrumental in writing the proposal that brought Geowoodstock X to Indiana. Daggy has been caching since September 2001 and has almost 16,000 finds and 137 hides. Her traditional hides have 248 favorite points and 67 of them are still active. She has hosted 14 Event Caches and has found a cache in 50 states. She gives so much back to the geocaching community, not just locally, but nationally.” T&ADT&DAbigfish97 writes, “My name is Dustin and I am 14 years old. I have only been geocaching since February and now it is one of my favorite things to do. I was introduced to geocaching by my aunt and uncle, Troy and Amanda,” a.k.a. T&AD. “They showed me everything about geocaching such as Trackables, Geocoins, different types of caches, etc. They have been geocaching since January but have already found over 350 geocaches! I learned everything I know about geocaching from them. They still guide me through a lot of my finds, even from 300 miles away. I love to share my experiences with them because they are beginner geocachers that I can relate to. I am thankful that they introduced me to this great hobby and what I am asking is for you to choose them for the month of July because it would mean the world to me!” SharePrint RelatedAnnouncing the June Featured Geocacher of the MonthJuly 10, 2012In “Community”June Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsJuly 3, 2012In “Community”Announcing the June 2013 Geocacher of the MonthJuly 17, 2013In “Community” De WijngemachtigdeDe Wijngemachtigde“Every year a Geocoin race is organized in the Netherlands to encourage people to put their coins in circulation instead of keeping them at home,” says irisisleuk. “When the original organizer suddenly stopped organizing this race, Guus, a.k.a. De Wijngemachtigde stepped in and took over this race. But his actions didn’t just result in copying what was done before. He really wanted to take it to the next level. This year, Guus managed to get a record number of 250 participants in the race. And the coins didn’t just visit the 12 provinces, but all 415 municipalities of the Netherlands. He thought of the idea that photos of the coin with the city limit sign and city hall and/or coat of arms of the city where a coin is dropped/retrieved, should be rewarded with bonus points as well. So, he now checks every log, of each coin for photos to see whether this coin should get  bonus points. He does all this himself. The way Guus has organized everything has really got our geocaching community in the Netherlands closer, more involved and resulted in many, many fun coin logs to read. This race has given a whole other dimension to geocaching. It really spices things up and makes moving trackables so much more fun.” Featured Geocacher of the Month IconComment below to tell us who you think should be the featured July Geocacher of the Month. A panel of Lackeys will use your comments to help decide which geocacher is awarded the honor. Each featured Geocacher of the Month will receive an exclusive special edition featured Geocacher of the Month Geocoin, along with a Geocacher of the Month hat, a Geocacher of the Month profile icon, and a certificate acknowledging their contributions signed by two of the founders of We will be accepting comments for July’s award through July 31st.Those whose nominees were not recognized here are encouraged to submit their nominations again next month. If you know an outstanding geocacher you would like to nominate to be a Featured Geocacher of the Month, send an email to [email protected] nomination must meet the following requirements:Please include your name, the name of your nominee, their username, at least one picture of the nominee and a description (500 or fewer words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Geocacher of the Month. Please inform your nominee that you’ve submitted them for the award. Nominations for the August Geocacher of the Month must be received by August 10th.Once we have received all of the nominations, we will choose the top candidates and post them on the blog. You will then get a chance to champion your favorite. Our goal is to involve the entire geocaching community in this process so we might learn from each other.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more